Good time for renewal or expansion

  • January 1st, 2011

Honeycrisp apples flow through the new three-lane Compac packing line at Lake Ontario Fruit Company. The company expanded last summer, and found funding available at a good interest rate.

The United States fruit industry—especially the apple portion—is continuing its renewal program, replacing old varieties with new ones and revamping storage [...]

Chinese apple production still rising

  • January 1st, 2011

More are sold fresh. More than half the world’s apples are produced in China, a place where exact numbers are hard to find.      During U.S. Apple Association’s marketing and crop outlook conference this summer, Michael Choi, president of Zhonglu America Corporation, said apple industry [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • January 1st, 2011

Richared, one of the first red strains of Delicious, was such an exciting discovery that a box full was sent to U.S. President Herbert Hoover.

Red Delicious is a persistent apple. It started out 140 years ago as an unwanted seedling in an Iowa orchard and became the most widely [...]

  • Platform transforms orchard work

Platform transforms orchard work

  • December 1st, 2010

Tom DeMarree bought this Blosi platform and uses it for many tasks, including installing trellis wire.

Workers crimp stabilizer wires onto trellis wires. The stabilizer wires eliminate the need for additional stakes
or posts.
Two years ago, the Lake Ontario Fruit Program, with a Northeast Risk Management grant and funds [...]

  • Orchards designed for efficient harvest

Orchards designed for efficient harvest

  • December 1st, 2010

Michael Zingler stands next to a planting of SweeTango in its third leaf and describes the reasoning behind the design of the orchard: Efficient use of harvest labor.

Western New York apple grower Michael Zingler likes his harvest system well enough to design his orchards to fit it.

“This is kind [...]

  • KC Bailey Farms taps wind and sun for power

KC Bailey Farms taps wind and sun for power

  • December 1st, 2010

This shiny new roof is covered with 110 photovoltiac solar panels that will provide 25-kilowatt power capacity for the cold storage behind it.

Chip and Karla Bailey saw the potential for generating renewable energy on their farm already in 2001, but it took a while to get there.

After years of [...]

  • More quantity than quality in China

More quantity than quality in China

  • December 1st, 2010

Chinese packers have been unable to convince growers to update orchards to improve yields and color. Shandong growers are unwilling to lose production in the short term in order to improve future production.

Although China is the world’s top apple producer in terms of volume, its apple producers have a [...]

Last Bite — The rise and fall of the fruit box label

  • December 1st, 2010

As this is the last article in this series, I decided to provide a brief overview of the history of the fruit box label, as described in The Ultimate Fruit Label Book, which I authored (with the help of many others).

Between the years of about 1880 and 1956, millions [...]

  • Carbon footprints: How do apples fare?

Carbon footprints: How do apples fare?

  • December 1st, 2010

This tree in a plastic wrapping is being used to collect and measure gases—oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. This experiment is to measure water loss to develop a model for irrigating apple trees in New York State.

In the ongoing debate about carbon footprints and global warming and how [...]

  • Vacuum harvester passes bruising tests

Vacuum harvester passes bruising tests

  • December 1st, 2010

Critical components of the DBR harvester are the vacuum tubes (green ones carry apples), the decelerator wheels (circular steel), and the elephant-ear fruit distributor (fan-like device above apples). Here, a full bin is being lowered to the ground during a demonstration at Mike Rasch’s orchard in August.

The vacuum system [...]

  • Eliminating LADDERS

Eliminating LADDERS

  • December 1st, 2010

Auvil Fruit Company, based in Orondo, Washington, has developed a picking platform with two objectives in mind: to keep costly cull apples out of the ­packing house and to expand the potential labor pool.

For more than 20 years, Auvil has had workers use platforms, rather than ladders, to prune, [...]

  • An oddly grand apple

An oddly grand apple

  • December 1st, 2010

That Gala apple sport called Grand Gala apparently deserves its name, and researchers at Purdue University have found out why.

It’s because of a process called endoreduplication—never before found in apples—in which cells in the fruit carry out an unusual cell division, doubling the DNA in the nucleus but not [...]